When speech is a nuisance

October 16, 2018 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Yesterday, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in Conagra v. State of California, a California state court decision holding that that three companies that lawfully sold lead paint are liable for creating a public nuisance and must therefore pay hundreds of millions of dollars into an “abatement” fund to investigate residential lead pain ...


Lead paint, public nuisance, and the First Amendment

August 17, 2018 | By DEBORAH LA FETRA

Prior to 1951, lead paint was lawfully sold and used in the interior of houses. This presented no problem at the time, but, as it ages and deteriorates, and as little children gnaw on windowsills and such while teething, it can become a source of lead poisoning. For this reason, the use of lead paint … ...


Can a legal, non-defective product be a public nuisance?

February 05, 2015 | By CHRIS KIESER

In the last decade, California was one of a group of states and cities that sued sellers and manufacturers of lead paint on the theory that those companies had contributed to a “public nuisance.” Public nuisance is a very vague term. Generally, it is defined as “an unreasonable interference with a right common to the … ...


Federal courts can hold Forest Service accountable for fire conditions

September 22, 2014 | By TONY FRANCOIS

Across the western United States, intense forest fires rage every summer, blackening millions of acres. One of the factors in the severity of these fires is the fuel conditions prevailing on many national forests.  For many decades the Forest Service has actively suppressed all fires, which has lead to a significant build up of fuel.  The ̷ ...


Cert denied in Native Village of Kivalina

May 23, 2013 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

On Monday, the Supreme Court denied Kivalina’s cert petition.  Recall that this was a global warming nuisance tort action, brought by an Alaskan town against several large energy companes.  The town argued that, under federal common law, the companies had caused or contributed to the public nuisance of global warming, which would harm the T ...


Cert sought in global warming nuisance case

March 28, 2013 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

In Native Village of Kivalina v. ExxonMobil Corp., the Ninth Circuit held that the Clean Air Act displaces any otherwise existing federal law of public nuisance.  (PLF filed an amicus brief supporting the energy companies).  Consequently, the court’s ruling eliminates the Village’s tort lawsuit, which sought damages from the defendant ...


More analysis on Kivalina

September 26, 2012 | By DAMIEN SCHIFF

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the Native Village of Kivalina’s tort damages claim against a large collection of the country’s major energy producers.  (PLF submitted an amicus brief in support of the defendants).  Kivalina had argued that the defendants’ greenhouse gas emissions had cont ...


SCOTUS and global warming


Author:  Damien M. Schiff This week PLF filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of the petitioners in American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut.  The case concerns whether federal courts can hear public nuisance cases that are based on the greenhouse gas emissions of large energy companies.  The Connec ...


Global warming nuisance suit in the Supreme Court?


Author:  Damien M. Schiff This week, a collection of energy companies requested the Supreme Court to review the Second Circuit's decision in Connecticut v. American Electric Power Co.  The plaintiffs are a collection of eight states, the City of New York, and three private land trusts, who have brought public nuisance claims a ...